A Simple Tip to Save Time While Browsing

How do you find something you’re looking for on a web page? What if the page is especially long, so long the scrollbar is a tiny dot?

A tiny scrollbar

If the scrollbar is as tiny as the one above, the page you’re on is a long bomber. If you usually search web pages line by line, this tip is going to save you a huge amount of time. The tip is simple.

To search for text on a web page, use the Ctrl-F shortcut.

For example, let’s say you’re on this reddit page for entrepreneurs offering to help one another out. You want to create a logo for your business. In order to find posts that mention logo, hit Ctrl-F and type logo.

Search field

This dialog gives you a lot of information. The first is how many matches there are. In this example, there are 17 instances of the word logo on the web page.

Next are the orange lines in the scrollbar. They indicate where the matches are located on the page. This feature is unique to Chrome (at least for now), but it’s one of the reasons I prefer using Chrome as my web browser. It’s extremely helpful to quickly see where the results are.

The third element to point out are the arrows. You can use them to jump to the next and previous matches one by one. You can also use the F3 or Enter key to jump to the next search result. If you want to jump back to the previous matches, hold down the Shift key then either F3 or Enter.

Search highlights

The last detail is the yellow highlighting of matching search terms. Every instance of the search term has been highlighted, as if your personal assistant went through the page and marked it for your reading convenience. It makes the matches stand out as you’re scrolling down.

Note: The way Ctrl-F works differs from browser to browser. The screenshots above are from Google Chrome.

Using Ctrl-F can revolutionize how you browse the web. The way many people work is to search on Google, then slowly scroll down the page looking for the information they searched for.

Instead of having to scroll around, you can type Ctrl-F and the search phrase. You’ll end up right where you want to be on the page in seconds.

Depending on the length of the page, this tip can save you minutes every time you use it and those minutes add up.

Try using Ctrl-F the next time you’re on a page and you want to find text quickly. You can even use it on the Tech Made Plain articles archive to easily find relevant articles.

July 7, 2014
444 words
3 minute read


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